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Brunch bill will be on the November ballot in Cumming
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In November, city of Cumming voters will decide whether or not to change the time restaurants can begin selling alcohol on Sundays to 11 a.m.

The decision was made at the Cumming City Council meeting on Tuesday, where council members voted unanimously to approve a referendum for this November’s city election and approved a change to the local ordinance that would officially change the time from 12:30 p.m. to 11 a.m. if approved by voters.

“This is a brunch bill,” City Attorney Kevin Tallant told the mayor and council. “The general assembly passed [legislation] in 2018 allowing alcohol to be sold about an hour and a half earlier on Sundays. You can’t do it without voters saying yes. The only thing you’re doing here is you’re giving voters the chance to say yes to earlier alcohol sales on Sunday.”

Bruch bills were on local ballots across the state after being passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by then-Gov. Nathan Deal.

Last November, Forsyth County voters approved the change for unincorporated parts of the county with 64.22 percent of the vote.

Discussion on the change did not come before the city council in 2018, though Mayor Troy Brumbalow told the Forsyth County News at that time that city officials found out about the deadline to get the item on the ballot just before the deadline, which would have required a special-called meeting, and said a meeting would not be held due to both time constraints and lack of interest from city officials.

The ordinance change and referendum were among a handful of items approved in a short meeting on Tuesday. All items were approved by a 5-0 vote unless otherwise noted.

New fairground pavilion

With an increasing number of events held at the Cumming Fairgrounds each year, attendees will have a new shady place to eat and hang out.

During the meeting, the council voted to move ahead with construction of a new pavilion at the fairgrounds.

“We’d have more room for eating at the fair, and events like that. We don’t have as much as we’d like to have for gathering spots,” said City Administrator Phil Higgins.

Higgins said the project would cost about $14,000 and said the price would likely be lower. The pavilion will go near the bridge that is currently being built over Castleberry Road to connect the fairgrounds with a parking lot.

“I do feel this is a need for the fairgrounds. We currently have a pavilion in the area of the general store, and if you’ve been at the fair on crowded nights, there’s just nowhere near the food to sit and eat,” Higgins said.

Business moving

A Cumming liquor distillery with a unique distillation process is moving locations.

City council members approved a request from Spirits of the USA, LLC to move the business from 110 Industrial Park Drive, Ste. A-5 down the road to 210 Industrial Park Drive.

“Over the last five years, we’ve been developing a technology that’s now been patented,” said owner Michael Gerard. “We can refine, purify and age anything alcoholic literally from a day-one old whiskey to the next day we can bottle it as a four- or five-year-old whiskey.”

Gerard said the new facility would be able to bottle 40,000 cases of whiskey a year.